As far as launches go, this was one sweet muthafunking launch: Abu Dhabi, a floodlit Yas Marina circuit and a blisteringly sexual array of the latest and greatest sportsbikes at one’s disposal, each wearing Bridgestone’s all-new S21 rubber.
Riding Yas Marina is a bucket list, pinch-yourself moment in itself, utterly unique in every aspect from layout to surroundings, from teal markings to the 7-star hotel that forms a bridge over the circuit. Somehow, Baron managed to blag his way onto this one. While we wait his lordship’s prose and other delicious content, here’s a brief insight into Bridgestone’s S21 as requested…
In terms of performance, the S21 sits in the fourth tier of Bridgestone’s range below the V01 slick, R10 and RS10 track/pure sports rubber. Essentially, it’s a sporty road tyre that’ll thrive on riding to a trackday like a twat, spanking round all day at a trackday like a twat, and riding home from a trackday (like a twat) with oodles of mileage in reserve. In many ways, tyre manufacturers have become a victim of their own technologies, as consumers are visiting their local tyre shops less because mileage has been drastically improved. These fast road types are almost all-in-one hoops for every eventuality.
The S21’s concept involved improving dry performance and mileage (and retaining wet skills), so the front gets a sharper profile over the outgoing S20 EVO and continues with Bridgestone’s 3LC (3-Layer Compound) which brags a softer shoulder compound and a harder, more durable central strip. Bridgestone fronts – regardless of model – have always been epic, and Baron duly noted the S21’s performance.
Conversely, the rear profile is relaxed for cornering stability and 30% less slip area under contact. It uses a 5LC (5-Layer Compound) – a hardwearing centre compound bounded by a slightly softer compound and even softer shoulders for big-lean grip. Bridgestone claims the S21 is two seconds a lap faster than the S20 EVO at Sugo and provides 36% more mileage.
It’s also worth noting that the S21 is one of the first sensible road tyres available in a 200/55-17, which is essential for today’s modern superbikes.